Monday, February 11, 2008

Pardon the post, but CJ's Bus is worth your attention

Access Ability is going to take a slight diversion of focus for this post. Its not related to higher education, nor is it tied to disability services. However, this is about
CJ’s bus: A safe haven for children in disaster.
This non-profit corporation is an inspiring and worthwhile project that is providing a much needed service during times of family crisis.

What CJ’s Bus provides is a portable playground for parents in disaster-stricken areas, such as after a tornado, where the parents can leave their children for a safe play time while they meet with the myriad of people needed to get up and running. While parents must meet with people such as Red Cross staff and insurance reps, these folks are not anybody the kids really need to sit and visit with. That’s where CJ’s Bus comes in. Being it is mobile, it can go from town to town, wherever it is needed to provide a safe respite for all.

You might be asking, “Who is CJ?” The namesake for this project is 2-year-old C.J. Martin, who died in the November 6, 2005 tornado that struck Newburgh, Indiana. After CJ’s death, his mother Katheryn took the initiative to reach out to families in Otwell, Indiana when a 2006 tornado struck their community. What she did there was the beginning of her vision for CJ’s Bus. She loaded coloring books, crayons, and juice boxes in her car, then drove to Otwell with a friend, and offered parents who had been impacted by the tornado the opportunity to grab a break by watching their children for a while. That allowed the parents to do whatever they needed to get their households back on the road to recovery.

From the web site’s
The Story
“CJ's Bus is a proposal to provide a safe, mobile childcare facility loaded with games and toys for children in disaster. CJ's Bus will enable parents to take the time to deal with paperwork as well as the opportunity to 'just breathe'. CJ's Bus will allow children to play and have fun with other children who have suffered the same devastating events as one another. I envision CJ's Bus as a way to begin the battle of healing for families that are put in unpreventable circumstances.”

Forgive the diversion, but when something this worthwhile and meaningful comes across my desk, I feel compelled to share it here. Please do check out the web site and learn more about the sincere efforts being put forth by this group. There is a list of items they need assistance with, so if you’re able to, lend a hand.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

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